JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Santorum v. Romney: A liberal’s dilema

As today’s Republican events take place in Michigan and Arizona, I find myself confronted by a liberal’s dilema: Who am I pulling for?

On the one hand, Rick Santorum=can’t win. As in, if he’s the Republican nominee, Barack Obama would have to, literally, plot a terrorist attack against America to lose. He’d have to strap a bomb to his body, announce, “I’ve strapped a bomb to my body!” then run headfirst into the Pentagon. Hell, if only a few people died, he’d be re-elected.

Why? Because Santorum is a joke. A lot of people like morality. Few people like genuine stupidity. Santorum has three degrees, but he’s 150 degrees of dumb. His Obama-is-a-snob-because-he-wants-everyone-to-go-to-college line is beyond inane. His religion-needs-to-be-everywhere brand of thinking if not only disconcerting—it’s outdated. Santorum has painted himself to be a xenophonic, homophobic dolt, and only the most uninformed, church-owned American could possibly support him. Which means, at best, he gets 40 percent of the vote.

That said …

Mitt Romney worries me. A. I think he’s electable, and all this talk of his demise is painfully premature. B. He looks presidential, and we’re silly enough to make that matter. C. If the economy dips again, he’ll be armed and loaded. D. Citizen’s United makes it certain he’ll have mucho coin.

Mostly, though, Mitt Romney worries me (and, I think, most people) because we have absolutely no clue who he is, or how he’ll govern. I’ve never seen a candidate change positions more than Mitt, where he believed one thing 10 years ago in Mass., then pulled a complete 180 for the Republican primary. Is he a moderate? A conservative? Would he govern with an even-handed approach? Does he really want a Constitutional ammendment on gay marriage? Did he actually strap his mutt to the roof of the car?

I have no idea.

So, who do I want to win? Gun to head, I say … Santorum.

But only because he can’t take the general. He just can’t.

Right?